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What is El Gusto? It is a taste. Particularly it is a taste of life, the joy of life and good mood. A way to be resolutely optimistic, ‘On the El Gusto ship, you will always be happy’ the song says.
This is a way of seeing life, a kind of philosophy that makes you look on the bright side of things. With El Gusto, you enjoy the simple pleasures: good times spent with friends, the warmth of sharing. Beyond the religious and political beliefs, social differences, rivalries, wars and upheaval caused by history: ‘All those we love with their differences’ are on board of the El Gusto ship’ , the song continues.
‘El Gusto’, is happiness in harmony and not just in a musical sense. This is the effect produced by Chaabi music on those who play the music and those who hear it. The word ‘gusto’ means ‘our passion, our pleasure’. The Chaabi is my gusto explains one of the musicians. Another says: ‘this is my life, it’s everything that I like – that is my gusto. Everyone has their own, some drink, some smoke, others love coffee – I love my music.’
A young love that is still alive.
Passion. Love. This love that lasts forever…’gusto’ they speak with such emotion and warmth about their experiences playing this music together, their youthful passion still intact. Ferkioui remembers, and suddenly looks like a kid almost embarrassed by the image he uses to express the strong bond that unites him with his music when he played, especially a waltz or a tango, he danced with his accordion "like it was a woman."
"The virus has entered my ear"
Maurice el-Medioni, the inventor of the ‘pianoriental’, a mix of music like Chaabi; said that from the age of three, he loved to listen to the great musician – his uncle Saoud l’Oranais, a grand master. He would come home and pretend to play the oud with a frying pan or saucepan with a violin and a fork!
As for Manu who was 10 years old then, not having any money to buy an instrument, he had found an oil can to which he added a wooden pole and four pieces of string and improvised!
Robert – actor and comedian Robert Castel Lili Labassi whose father was a famous Algerian singer, says to the camera, tongue in cheek: very early, as a fetus in the womb, I had heard the voice of my father, my father's violin and lute. My father's music was like a natural-virus or a medicinal poison to my ear. "